There are some news items that make you reflect on everything, how much it has changed and how the exception can, easily, become the rule.
"In a twist, Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. 'Grammar Girl,' has released an audiobook before the publication of her hardcover book, reports Andrew Adam Newman in The New York Times (5/7/07). Usually the sequence is the other way around because publishers assume an audiobook would cannibalize a hardcover's sales. But Mignon, author of a forthcoming book called 'Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips to Clean Up Your Writing,' saw things differently. Reason was, Mignon had been invited to appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show, but her book wasn't out yet. So she sat down at her home studio and recorded 'an hour-long audiobook that could be downloaded for $4.95.'
This wasn't a big deal for Mignon, because she regularly records podcasts at home, anyway: 'About 100,000 people a week download her free podcasts which consist of five minutes of grammar tips from grammar.qdnow.com and iTunes. She produces them on about $600 worth of equipment in her home in Gilbert, Arizona.' Remarkably, Mignon recorded and uploaded her audiobook on Audible.com between the time she taped the Oprah show and the show aired - just a matter of days. Audible.com promoted her audiobook the day of the TV show (March 26) and naturally it went straight to number one."
I'm not even sure if I should be Blogging commentary about this or just continue in the digital standing ovation I am giving Grammar Girl.
I love this for so many reasons. This is niche and targeted content that has struck a chord with enough people that Oprah felt it was show-worthy. I love the business side of this where Grammar Girl created a product in between taping the show and its airing (this news should send shudders down the spines of people in the publishing business), and I can definitely appreciate how well she is developing her personal brand and maximizing it even if the wheels of business turn slowly.
Imagine if your business (and your marketing) could be as agile to the market as Grammar Girl is?
Here's the big question: why can't it?